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Information for Sponsors Hosting New ​Arrivals in California

Baby and mom receiving health screeningMan receiving health assessmentChild receiving health assessment

UrgentFor a comprehensive orientation on benefits available to parolees and refugees, please attend ​​our monthly Sponsor Orientation. The orientation is virtual, and it is open to all sponsors in Cali​fornia, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. To register, please comp​le​te the registration form​.​​​ ​

Urgent

Please note that as of September 30, 2023, only certain relatives (spouses, children) of Afghan parolees are eligible for benefits provided through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), including the Refugee Health Assessment Program. Ukrainian parolees who entered the United States with parole between February 24, 2022 and September 30, 2024 are eligible for ORR benefits and services including the Refugee Health Assessment Program. Please read the ORR Dear Colleague Letter (PDF) to check for eligibility for Office of Refugee Health services for both Afghan and Ukrainian parolees.​

Vaccine Attestation​

If you are hosting a parolee from Afghanistan, Ukraine, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua,​ or Venezuela, part of their conditions for parole require certain medical screenings and vaccinations. For more information on the requirements, visit the Vaccine Attestations webpage​. ​​

Where to Get Immunizations and Tuberculosis Screenings 

To receive vaccinations and a tuberculosis (TB) screening, please use the resources below to find a clinic in your community:

Benefits for Refugees and Parolees from Afghanistan, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Ukraine, and Venezuela

How to Get a Medical Screening in California​​

Some new arrivals who are ORR-eligible​ can get a medical screening thr​oug​​​​h the free Refugee Health Assessment Program (RHAP). There are 11 RHAP clinics in the state of California. Please visit the RHAP County Clinics webpage​ for the list of clinics. Visit the How Can New Arrivals Get a Free Medical Screening in California​ webpage​ for more information on what the medical screening covers and what to do if your county does not have a RHAP clinic. ​

Information on Medi-Cal and Other Benefits

Within a few days of arrival to California, new arrivals should apply for Medi-Cal, and other public benefits:​

  • ​​CalFresh provides cash benefits towards healthy and nutritious food. 

  • CalWORKS provides cash aid and services to eligible families who have a child in the home. 

  • If there is no minor child in the home, Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) provides cash aid and services to Office of Refugee Resettlement eligible populations. 

  • Medi-Cal provides affordable, high-quality medical and dental care services to children and adults who meet the Medi-Cal eligibility requirements. 

Individuals may apply online on the BenefitsCal website​. As an alternative, applications can be submitted in person to the local county Human or Social Service Agency. The Department of Health Care Services County Offices webpage can be used to find the local county office. ​​

The California Public Benefits Fact Sheet (PDF) contains more information on how to sign up for public benefits in California.

If applying for California Public Benefits in person, the Public Benefits Application Cover Sheet (PDF) includes a checklist of necessary documents to apply for public benefits in CA.​

More information on the Medi-Cal Dental Program can be found on the Dental Care for Medi-Cal Recipients fact sheet (PDF) and on the Department of Healt​h Care Services website. Medi-Cal can also cover transportation to medical, dental, and pharmacy visits. The Medi-Cal Transport Tool Fact Sheet (PDF) contains information on how to coordinate transportation.

Note: Federally funded CalFresh, CalWorks, and Refugee Cash Assistance are NOT available to parolees from Venezuela or Nicaragua. However, state funded benefits may be available for families. Regardless of immigration status in California, if a person is under 26 years old or over 50 years old, they are eligible to apply for Medi-Cal and anyone regardless of their immigration status is eligible for Emergency Medi-Cal. ​Also, state Medi-Cal may be available through PRUCOL for parolees from Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Information on Benefits Eligibility 

For more information on benefits that refugees and parolees qualify for, please visit the Populations and Benefits page​.

If you have any questions or need assistance enrolling your beneficiary in healthcare or benefits, please send the Office of Refugee Health an email at sponsorORH@cdph.ca.gov​.

Perinatal Service Coordinators​​

Pregnant women are eligible for the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program, which provides a range of culturally competent services to eligible pregnant women, from conception through 60 days postpartum. The Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program page can be used to find a Perinatal Service Coordinator in your county.

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program

WIC is a health and nutrition program for babies, children under 5, pregnant women, and new mothers. For more information on WIC and to sign up, visit the California De​​​part​ment of Public Health’s Women, Infants, and Children Program website.

Employment

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is required for parolees, SIV holders, asylees, and refugees to work in the United States. For more information on how to apply for an EAD or what to do if a client has not received their EAD can be found on the Application for Employment Authorization section of the USCIS website.

Additional Resources

​Legal Resources

Housing Resources​

Education Resources

Education in the United States is available and mandatory in the US for children 5 years old and above. Ask your school district about programs for newcomer students and families.

​Childcare Resources

​​Other Resources​

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